How does a newbie get past the feeling thay he is trying to understand an elephant whilst looking through a keyhole?

Chris Muller chris at
Tue May 2 17:13:56 UTC 2006

When you browse Squeak code, one of the browsers you will invariably use VERY frequently is a Methods browser.  This browser appears whenever you browse "senders" or "implementors" of a method, or references to a class or variable, among other things.  It is a two-paned browser, methods list in the upper-pane, code in the lower-pane.
 So just keep exploring code normally, the next time you use senders or implementors (something any Smalltalker does about 1000 times per day) you will see the Tracing Messages Browser.
 These browsers look the same initially, but by having the "traceMessages" preference set, they take on enhanced behavior as you "trace" method calls.  The SqueakMap entry describes it well:
 "I look like a standard methods browser with methods in the upper pane, code in the lower. As you browse senders and implementors, the upper pane is built into a "stack" rather than opening new method browsers, reducing window profileration. Implementors are indented below the currently selected method, senders are outdented above. You end up with a flow of the execution of methods across multiple classes all in one place.  The stack is quickly customized by easy-removal of unwanted methods. First, the upper pane is multi-select, and can handle rapid, sweeping gestures of the mouse without dropping selections (shift+clicking is also supported). Once methods are selected, you can quickly remove them (just from the browser) with otherwise unused Command+f."
 I think this browser has saved me years of closing windows.
 Please let me know if you have other questions.

----- Original Message ----
From: Stephen Davies <stephen.l.davies at>
To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list <squeak-dev at>
Sent: Monday, May 1, 2006 4:05:15 PM
Subject: Re: How does a newbie get past the feeling thay he is trying to understand an elephant whilst looking through a keyhole?

On 01/05/06, Ralph Johnson <johnson at> wrote:
> On 5/1/06, Chris Muller <chris at> wrote:
> > I would like to add the Tracing Messages Browser to this list.
> It can be hard for newbies to understand the value of a new tool.  Making
> movies of them (following Stephane's suggestion) can help a lot.

So the frustrating thing for me - I loaded the Tracing Messages
Browser from Monitcello.  I can see the class(es) in the browser, I
have a pref for "traceMessages" in my preferences.

But I can't figure out how to get a Tracing Messages Browser open, or
what I'm supposed to see happen...


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